Saturday, August 11, 2012

Congrats! ... And an NBC gaffe?

Congrats to the US Women's B-ball team on their fifth consecutive Olympic gold!

Gaffe to NBC talking head Mary Carillo, who when referring to US basketball superstar Diana Taurasi, brings us the fact that "she's Italian, even though her parents are from Argentina..."

Come again?

Now, if you've ever been to Argentina, then you know that this huge nation is very diverse, almost as much as the US, when it comes to its European ancestry, and also that Argentines of Italian ancestry make up the largest historical block of immigrants to Argentina, so a slight majority of Argentines are of Italian ancestry, which reflects powerfully on the Italianate accent of their Spanish language. Case in point: if we look at the last names of the 15 players in the strong Argentine Olympic team we see that out of the 12 players, five have Italian surnames, five have Spanish and two have German... that's pretty much the Argentine demographic make-up plus a lot of Welsh in the city of Trelew, Argentina (founded in 1886 by Welsh settlers) and a lot of Scots in Patagonia.

And to trip over the fact that the daughter of Argentines, now in the US, is now Italian (again) instead of... what? See how difficult and silly this Latino label is?

Those of you who know me well, and those of you who know me through my writing, know that one of my pet peeves is the usage of "labels" to box people and art, or art and people, into easily distinguishable categories.

One such label is the American invention of the Hispanic (now apparently not a PC term because technically it includes two European nationalities) or Latino label to pass for ethnicity and often and always wrongly for race.

What does that mean in art? And what does it mean to "Latino" artists? Does it mean anything?

If you want to hear my opinion on the subject then start by penciling in October 11, 2012, where starting at 5PM I will be presenting a lecture titled "On Identity in the Arts: What Does It Mean to be Latino?" at Montgomery College in Silver Spring, MD.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: August 31, 2012
The Howard County Center for the Arts is seeking proposals from artists for Art Maryland 2012, a biennial multi-media juried exhibit. The juror for Art Maryland 2012 is my good bud Philippa Hughes, Founder and Chief Contrarian of The Pink Line Project. A minimum of $1,000 will be awarded by the juror. The exhibit will be on view from October 26 – December 14, 2012 with a reception and remarks by Ms. Hughes on October 26 from 6-8pm.

Entry is open to all artists 18 years or older, residing in Maryland or within a 100-mile radius of Ellicott City, MD. Artists may submit digital images of up to three works completed in the last two years and not exhibited previously in the HCCA galleries. All work must fit through a standard doorway measuring 54” x 80” and fit appropriately in the HCCA galleries. The Center’s two galleries total over 2000 square feet, with 9 ½ foot high walls, professional track lighting and hardwood floors. There is a $25 Art Maryland entry fee. The fee is waived for current Howard County Arts Council members.

Art Maryland 2012 is the eighteenth multi-media statewide juried exhibit sponsored by the Howard County Arts Council. The exhibit began in 1984 as Maryland’s Best, an annual show running through 1989 and open to all Maryland artists. In 1990, when the show became a biennial, its name was changed to Art Maryland. Since the Baltimore Museum of Art ended its Maryland biennial exhibits in the early 1990s, Art Maryland has been a premier juried showcase for artists in the region. In 2000, Art Maryland expanded to include Delaware and Southeastern Pennsylvania in addition to Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

For more information or to download a prospectus, visit
Pam Perna
Community and Web Relations Assistant
Howard County Arts Council
8510 High Ridge Road
Ellicott City, MD 21043
p: 410.313.ARTS
f: 410.313.2790